July/August 2002

Catholic Health Initiatives Commits Additional $1.15 Million to Direct Community Investments

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Catholic Health Initiatives has approved three additional investments through its Direct Community Investment program, which provides no-interest or low-interest loans to organizations that make housing, jobs, education and health care more accessible to low-income and minority populations. The recipients of the new investments are: Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund Minneapolis, Minn. Loan amount: $500,000 The Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), established in 1978 as one of the first community development loan funds in the country, provides lending to cooperatives in the upper Midwest. The mission of NCDF is to promote economic equity and community stability through loans to producer, worker, housing and consumer cooperatives. The investment by Catholic Health Initiatives will be used to support these lending activities. Portland YouthBuilders Portland, Ore. Loan Amount: $50,000 Portland YouthBuilders (PYB) is a non-profit organization that offers educational, vocational and leadership development programs to low-income young people. PYB students earn high school or general equivalency diplomas while acquiring the skills, values and experiences necessary to lead self-sufficient, productive lives. The investment by Catholic Health Initiatives will be used to retire a portion of a bank loan used to purchase the building that PYB occupies. Southern Financial Partners Arkadelphia, Ark. Loan amount: $600,000 Southern Financial Partners (SFP) is a financial intermediary that provides loans to small businesses and individuals in Arkansas and the Delta region of Mississippi, an area historically plagued by high poverty and unemployment. SFP delivers financial and technical assistance to small, locally owned manufacturing companies and self-employed individuals that are unable to obtain such services from traditional sources. The investment by Catholic Health Initiatives will be used to support SFP’s lending and technical assistance programs. While Catholic Health Initiatives has committed $18.6 million to direct community investments, more than $25 million is still available for similar investments. For more information, contact Jennifer Neppel, director of cash and investment programs for Catholic Health Initiatives, at jenniferneppel@chi-national.org.